2020 NFL Draft Profile: K’Lavon Chaisson, DE, LSU

K’Lavon Chaisson

Defensive end, LSU Tigers
6-3, 254
40 time: 4.62e


K'Lavon Chaisson
Dec 28, 2019; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; LSU Tigers linebacker K’Lavon Chaisson (18) reacts after being named defensive MVP of the 2019 Peach Bowl college football playoff semifinal game against the Oklahoma Sooners at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Chaisson worked in early as a rotational player at LSU, starting three games in 2017 while finishing with 27 tackles (4.5 for loss), two sacks and two passes defensed. His 2018 campaign was lost after one game due to a torn ACL, but Chaisson came back strong with an impressive redshirt sophomore season, in which he collected 60 tackles (13.5 for loss), 6.5 sacks and two passes defensed. Two of those sacks came in the CFP semifinal against Oklahoma.

Chaisson did not work out at the NFL Scouting Combine, planning to do so at LSU’s pro day before it was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Chaisson is lightning off the snap, with a deadly combination of snap anticipation, first-step quickness and acceleration. There’s an uncommon twitchiness and springiness to his movement, which he uses to terrorize offensive tackles around the edge, showing rare burst and bendability. He doesn’t just win with speed, either — Chaisson shows a decent complement of moves on tape, including hand swipes, a long-arm stab and a speed-to-power bull rush. While not thickly built, he’s very effective in the run game thanks to hand usage and instincts, as he consistently makes the right reads. He even brings surprising versatility as a cover man, which would help him if transitioning to a 3-4 defense, and his effort and playing temperament are elite.

Despite great tools, Chaisson wasn’t all that productive in college, with the torn ACL from 2018 slowing his development. He remains a bit raw, relying heavily on his athleticism and unable to finish at times as a result. He doesn’t have many inside rush moves at this point, other than flashing a spin. Chaisson could also stand to fill out his frame, as his lower half is a bit slight, and he can be moved in the run game when blockers are able to land on him squarely. For teams that want their defensive ends in a three-point stance, he might require a transition period after primarily standing up in college.


Bud Dupree, Pittsburgh Steelers — Chaisson is smaller and a bit more lithe, but Dupree similarly didn’t have top-tier production coming out of an SEC school despite tremendous athleticism. It took him time to mature in the pros, and that might be the case with Chaisson, too, but the LSU product has a chance to grow into a star within a few years. The question is how versatile his team will ask him to be — he can do many things, but development might hasten if he’s deployed primarily as a pass rusher at first.

Projection: First Round

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